From Cache Creek to Trail, 14 communities in the Interior are receiving age-friendly grants to support British Columbia seniors, so they can live active, safe, socially engaged and independent lives.
“Seniors spent their lives building our communities — it’s important that they are included in them as they age,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “When we make communities age-friendly, we make them more accessible for everyone.”
Approximately $587,000 in age-friendly grants are being provided to B.C. communities in 2018.
“We know that seniors who stay socially connected and active in the community live longer, healthier lives,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Anne Kang. “I encourage our communities to keep up the great work they're doing to develop sustainable projects that support seniors in being connected to the people and activities they love.”
Grants will be distributed to Cache Creek, Castlegar, Columbia-Shuswap, Cranbrook, Kaslo, Lillooet, Lytton, Montrose, Nelson, Osoyoos, Penticton, Rossland, Salmo and Trail. The communities’ projects and plans include:
- an assessment of existing seniors housing conditions in Cache Creek;
- an assessment to understand gaps in services and supports for seniors in Castlegar;
- the development of a sustainable nutrition program in the Columbia-Shuswap district;
- an action plan that prioritizes the needs of older adults in Cranbook;
- a program that helps vulnerable seniors identify and pursue services and financial supports in Kaslo;
- a seniors housing strategy and age-friendly community action plan in Lillooet;
- a project to identify preferred options for seniors housing in Lytton;
- the development of an age-friendly action plan in Montrose;
- the implementation of Nelson’s age-friendly action plan completed in 2017;
- an age-friendly plan to address issues facing seniors in Osoyoos;
- a physical activity program for seniors in Penticton;
- the development of an age-friendly action plan in Rossland;
- improved transportation options and social and learning opportunities in Salmo; and
- an age-friendly assessment and action plan in Trail.
The 2018 age-friendly grants will be distributed to 34 communities throughout B.C., almost double the number that received grants in 2017. This includes 12 communities that will receive grants of up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans, and up to $15,000 awarded to 22 communities in support of age-friendly projects.
Communities that have completed steps towards becoming age-friendly can be officially recognized by the Province as an age-friendly British Columbia community. In 2017, Abbotsford, Keremeos, Salmo, Sicamous, Smithers and Tofino were officially recognized as age-friendly for their work in making their communities more accessible and inclusive for older adults.
The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. In September 2017, local governments were invited to apply for grants and encouraged to consider projects that focused on accessibility, aging well, physical activity and non-medical home supports. Successful applicants are eligible to apply for a range of services from BC Healthy Communities Society to support their project.
More information about age-friendly B.C. can be found by visiting: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly
A backgrounder follows.